THE new body in charge of tourism for Bournemouth, Poole and Christchurch has launched its official awards.

The Destination Management Board was set up by the new BCP Council to replace the Bournemouth and Poole Tourism Board.

Its accolades will be called the Destination Awards.

James Dixon-Box, owner of dbox events, won a competitive tender to organise and deliver its awards, which will culminate in a ceremony at the BIC next spring.

The categories were announced at a launch event at Bournemouth’s Marsham Court Hotel.

David Bailey, chair of the Destination Management Board, told guests: “These are new awards, very different to anything that has gone before.

“We want to celebrate excellence across the BCP area and we want to make people realise that this area is not only a great place to visit but also to live and work. The most exciting thing about the awards is that even if you don’t win you will still be a winner because the amount of feedback and information that every entry will receive will be invaluable in driving the business forward.”

The award categories are:

  • Events & Cultural Award
  • Attraction of the Year
  • Large Hotel of the Year
  • Small or Boutique Hotel of the Year
  • Unserviced Accommodation of the Year
  • Café or Tearoom of the Year
  • Restaurant or Bistro of the Year
  • Retail Innovation Award
  • Getting About Award
  • Business Tourism Award
  • Responsible, Ethical and Sustainable Tourism Award
  • International or Inbound Tourism Award
  • Digital Transformation Award
  • Industry Support Award

David Squire, managing director of headline sponsor Yellow Buses, said: “We wanted to get involved because these awards are all about the community we serve – it is a perfect partnership.

“We have signed up for three years because we want to fully support local businesses who are delivering tourism week in week out in the Bournemouth Christchurch and Poole area.”

Also speaking at the launch event were Rosie Radwell, of hosts the Marsham Court Hotel, Craig Mathie, vice chair of the Destination Management Board, and Robin Barker, who organises the Dorset Tourism Awards, which is working in partnership with the Destination Awards.

Organiser James Dixon-Box said: “We are thrilled to be entrusted with these prestigious awards which truly recognise the best of the best and are unlike any this area of the south coast has seen before.

“We are now looking forward to working with Yellow Buses, along with sponsors Expectations Travel and the Marsham Court Hotel, to shine a spotlight on the fantastic work being done to make this a premier tourism destination.”

An independent adjudicator from outside the area – Kurt Janson of the Tourism Alliance – has been appointed to oversee the judging process.

Entries are open until September 8 and the judging process will include visits by mystery shoppers. The awards will be presented in a ceremony at the BIC in March 2020, with five finalists in each category.

Details are at and some category sponsorship packages are still available.